Bigger than average wasp.
No interactions present.
Agree a Common Wasp but can't say if it is a Queen or not.
Chris Brooks - www.dragonfly-images.co.uk
My Flickr site - www.flickr.com/photos/ceb1298
Its just a bit bigger than your average wasp and also it is totally identical in markings to an illustration of a queen in a wee book I have by Michael Chinery.
It was flying around a light bulb in the back porch late last night, making a real racket, I thought it was going to be some kind of interesting and seldom seen hornet, but it turned out to be a biggish ordinary wasp.
If it was indoors since the summer/autumn, I wonder just why it made its presence known last night and not before?
There was a queen V. vulgaris active (in a drowsy sort of way, not exactly on the wing) at Tain N of Inverness on 22 December, just after a very fast increase in temperature from <0C to 11C in a few hours. Queens are hibernating (all other social wasps should be dead), and these may have been roused by the unseasonable (record-breaking in Ireland, I believe) warm conditions we have had over the past week.
recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.
Ive put the wasp out into the garage. Hopefully it will be ok and just go back into hibernation. Yes it was very mild indeed for a few days there but the weather has taken a big turn for the worse again. There was spindrift rising 150 feet off the sea today and totally oscuring the land at the other side of the bay. People were having trouble walking. The temperature seems to have dropped quite a bit again. A lot of hail this evening.
I'd say its pretty rough in Scotland just now?
I had one in my garden in Monmouthshire on 22 December too.
Personally, I would want to see the 'face' before I would ID this one however.
Thanks for the responses, Ive just tried to get a shot of its face but its a bit out of focus, it needs to settle down a bit and I'll hopefully get a clear shot of the face. This one was on the wing indoors, quite warm, but I wonder just why it decided to fly last night? If its a queen and its seems it could well be going by the info supplied by Syrphus (Thanks Syrphus), then it could well have been hibernating somewhere in the back porch.
Thanks, crop to follow of face....
One crop of face added, I hope it is ok?
If I were a betting man I'd put a quid on a Common wasp.
I too had one at the window of my fly tying room last night.It could have been hibernating in the eaves or something.It has to be as Sryphus says big sudden increase in temperature.Years ago in Belfast I remember getting in to bed one mild winters night and feeling something at my back.The feeling was sufficient to make me jump out of the bed and throw the covers back only to discover a big Queen Wasp.I checked for any unwanted bed partners for a night or two after that I can tell you.I think here in Ireland the temperature difference between last Christmas and this was 25 degrees Centigrade.
A lot of queen wasps must have come out of their slumber with the unseasonably mild temperatures, or the quick rise in temp. Yeah youd check your bed for a night or two after that experience, this might be a silly question but do queens sting?
All our female (i.e. queen and worker) aculeates (bees, wasps, ants) except the Formicine ants are capable of stinging, for defence against predators or competitors, or to subdue prey. They are not aggressive - if you put your hand on a wasp, or disturb an active nest and get stung, that is defence, and understandable. With our species, most folk need only worry about disturbing active nests of the social wasps and honeybees (be very careful). Most bumbles are fairly relaxed even close to the nest, and even social wasps can be observed closely at the nest as long as you don't actually disturb the structure. Males don't sting (the sting is a part of the female reproductive system), and the Formicine ants spray formic acid rather than sting.
I can confirm that they definitely do sting.
Thanks very much for the information Syrphus and leenestofvipers. I wont upset her then. She's out in the garage, I just hope her offspring dont sting me in the New Year.
Great information, very much appreciated.
Lat/Lng: 55.0781, -6.0622
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Inside back porch flying around lightbulb.